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Friday, May 6, 2016

Avila ruins Vikings' home finale

Friday, February 24, 2012

Despite a double-double from junior David Smith (3), the Vikings were unable to stay with Avila during their home finale.
(Chris Allen/Democrat-News)
The final home date of the regular season was not a happy one for the Missouri Valley College men's and women's basketball teams, which lost both games Thursday by double digits to Heart of America Conference foe Avila.

The Lady Vikings were in contention for a half before falling, 70-52. Valley broke out to a 7-1 lead, but junior Courtney Gimlin's three-pointer touched off a 16-3 run which put the Lady Eagles up by seven points midway through the period.

Although the Lady Vikings were unable to regain the lead, tying the score on senior Hannah Young's jumper with 5:38 left in the half, they trailed by only four points at the break.

Avila scored the first six points of the second half, then used a 13-4 surge -- capped by sophomore Samantha York's three-pointer -- to open up a 19-point spread with seven minutes to go. Valley didn't get closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

The Lady Eagles (20-8, 14-3 HAAC) got 15 points off the bench from senior Brittany Townsend, the former Orrick standout, to remain in a first-place tie with MidAmerica Nazarene in the league standings.

Senior Chelsea Quiring had 12 points and eight rebounds to pace the Lady Vikings (10-17, 6-11), who dropped their fifth straight game.

The Valley men were taken out of contention by halftime of their 70-52 loss, the Eagles enjoying the career-high 10 three-pointers and 32 points from junior Austin Stockard.

After senior Bryan Corley made the game's first basket for the Vikings, Avila scored the next 15 points and led by as many as 24 points before heading into intermission with a 41-25 cushion -- Stockard tallying 20 points in the half.

Freshman Kevin Stander hit a pair of bombs early in the second half as Valley got its deficit down to 12 points, but that was as close as it could get. The Eagles increased their advantage to 20 points with under seven minutes remaining.

The victory gave Avila (17-11, 10-7) a sweep of the season series with the Vikings for the first time since it joined the league in 2000.

Valley (10-19, 5-12), which has lost seven of its last seven HAAC contests, was topped by junior David Smith's 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Vikings are locked into the eighth seed for the conference's post-season tournament regardless of what happens during Saturday's game at Graceland.

The Lady Vikings are in a three-way tie with Culver-Stockton and Graceland heading into the last game of the regular season.

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